C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


No service tax on conversion of plots
Central Excise Commissioner waives Rs 24.34 crore tax, affected plot owners hail decision
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
In a relief to the converted plot holders in Industrial Area, Phase I, and Phase II, the Commissioner, Customs and Central Excise Department, has ruled that there will be not service tax on conversion of plots.

This order will imply on those who have converted their plots from industrial to commercial.

Besides, the Commissioner has also waived Rs 24.34 crore service tax. A show-cause notice for the service tax was issued to the UT Estate Office in July 2013 for not depositing service tax.

The department had issued notice of Rs 34.31 crore but the Estate Office will now have to pay Rs 9.97 crore as service tax for ground rent, tower fee and rent income.

After receiving the notice, the UT Estate Office had asked the plot owners to pay service tax or face cancellation of allotment of their properties in September 2013.

The UT Administration had asked the plot owners to pay service tax from June 1, 2007, on the conversion fee for change of trade or activities from industrial to commercial.

The plot owners challenged the notice and filed an appeal before the Commissioner, Customs and Central Excise Department.

The order reads: “Such activity is purely in public interest and it is undertaken as mandatory and statutory function. These are not in the nature of service to any particular individual for any consideration. Therefore, such an activity performed by a sovereign/public authority under the provisions of law does not constitute provision of taxable service to a person and, therefore, no service tax is leviable on such activities.”

Chander Verma, chairman of the Converted Plot Owners’ Association, said the conversion of plots was not a service and they had submitted the same point before the Commissioner. “We hail the order and also the efforts of the Estate Office officials to pursue the case before the Commissioner,” he added.

Arvinder Pal Singh, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Chandigarh, has also welcomed the order.

Estate Office notice

The notice issued in September 2013, reads: "All owners of converted plots are requested to pay service tax and interest with effect from June 1, 2007, to avoid the cancellation of allotment of their properties. No other individual demand notices will be served.”



PU: 10 per cent fee hike on the cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Panjab University is all set to hike tuition and hostel fee by at least 10 per cent from the next academic session.

Sources said the draft to hike the fee would be tabled in the Fee Committee meeting scheduled for Friday.

The Dean, Student Welfare, has approved the hostel fee hike and has sent it for the approval of the Syndicate, which will meet on February 16.

An official said the printing of new prospectus had been put on hold till the approval of the revised fee structure.

Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover informed members of the Board of Finance today that the university was in the process of increasing the fee from the next session.

The Hostel Fee Committee has proposed that students seeking accommodation will be charged Rs 8,500 initially, which includes security, common room of hostel and other charges. At present, the hostellers are being charged Rs 7,000. The revised monthly charges will be Rs 310 instead of Rs 275. The common room charges will be Rs 70 instead of Rs 50 and for electricity, a student will be charged Rs 250 instead of Rs 170. The revised charges will be applicable to all 17 hostels in the university.



Mohali resident dies in road accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
A 37-year-old Mohali resident died after his Ford Fiesta rammed into the Hallo Majra roundabout near the airport light point in Sector 31 last night.

The victim, Deepak Alagh, who was the manager at a tobacco company, was returning from Delhi with his two colleagues when the mishap took place.

The mishap took place at 2.30 am when Deepak rammed his car into the roundabout. The police suspect that the victim fell asleep while driving.

The injured have been identified as Kamal Sidhu and Kuljeet Singh, who have been admitted to the GMCH-32.

The police said the car was being driven at high speed and the front portion of the vehicle was damaged.

Inspector Kirpal Singh, SHO, Sector 31 police station, said the three were returning from Delhi after filing a tender.

The body of the deceased has been handed over to his family members after post-mortem. Deepak is survived by his wife and two sons.



Kissing on lips causes dental caries in children: Study
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Kissing toddlers on lips and sharing their utensils can lead to tooth decay in children below six years, say experts.

A recent study by the PGI's Oral Health Science Centre found that bottle feeding at night, at-will breast feeding, kissing the child on lips and consumption of carbonated beverage are responsible for dental cavities in children, resulting in caries and deformity in the jaw.

The study was conducted on 100 children between one and 1.5 years in 2010. It was found that a majority of the children with caries breastfed five times a day, the researchers said. It was found that within the caries group, a large proportion of children (72.2 per cent) gave a history of at-will breastfeeding, the study revealed.

Out 38 children feeding from bottle at night, 19 (50 per cent) slept with nipple in mouth. Also, 72.6 per cent children shared utensils with parents.

“Consumption of carbonated drinks is one of the major causes of dental caries in children aged below six,” said Dr Ashok Utreja, head, Oral Health Sciences Centre.

Dr Ashima Goyal said having sugar in form of biscuits, fruits or candies more than three times a day also contributes to tooth decay. Replacing sugary with salty food can be of help, the study revealed.

Full-mouth rehabilitation

Parents are going in for full-mouth rehabilitation of their children in the PGI’s weekly clinic. The procedure that lasts for 30 to 45 minutes is used to check the oral health of children. On an average, five children visit the clinic every week.

Convention on dentistry

The Oral Health Sciences Centre of the PGI is hosting the XI Postgraduate Convention of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry from February 9 to 11. Prof Amrit Tewari, former Dean of the Institute, will be the chief guest. A symposium on stem cell research in dentistry will be held during the convention. Recent research suggests that stem cells can be easily and painlessly extracted from naturally exfoliated milk (primary or deciduous) teeth. Another symposium on modern approach in the management of high-caries risk children will also be held during the convention.



Homeless dies of exposure to cold
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
A homeless sadhu died of hypothermia near Labour Chowk in Panchkula’s Sector 16 on Tuesday night.
Homeless sleep out in the open
Homeless sleep out in the open. A file photograph

The deceased, who was differently abled, used to seek alms on his modified cart. He was noticed by a passer-by. The police could not ascertain the identity of the deceased.

The victim, who was in his late fifties, was rushed to the Sector 6 General Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

He was the sixth homeless person to have died due to the cold this winter in the town.

“Chapati crumbs were found in his pocket. He used to seek alms outside Nada Sahib Gurdwara or outside Rajiv Colony in the Budanpur area,” said a police official.

A social organisation of Sector 20, Panchkula, cremated him as the police was unable to trace his acquaintances or relatives.

On January 28, a 60-year-old sadhu died of cold outside Nada Sahib Gurdwara.

Night shelter project hangs fire

In a survey conducted by the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner, over 200 poor families were found spending nights out in the cold. The project to provide shelter to the homeless at Fatehpur village in Sector 20, Panchkula, is yet to see the light of day. 



10-yr-old boy kidnapped, thrown at rly tracks
Victim’s brother was also abducted by five masked men a few months ago
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
The kidnapping of two children of a family at Budanpur has kept the police on their toes.

After abducting a Class V student a few months ago, five masked men targeted his 10-year-old brother today.

The victim, Rahul, a student of Class IV and a resident of Budanpur, was allegedly thrown by the kidnappers near the railway tracks at Mauli village three hours after the incident. The police said as the boy failed to give his mother's number to the kidnappers, they left him and fled.

Police post in charge Surjit Singh said they were probing the matter. "We are working on the inputs provided by the child. Rahul's mother suspects the involvement of some acquaintance," Singh said.

On October 21, 2013, Rahul's elder brother Vishal was kidnapped. Vishal managed to give his kidnappers the slip at the railway station. The police too reached the spot tracing the location of the mobile phone of the child. He was taken towards Amartex Chowk and when the kidnappers were busy changing their cars at the Chandigarh railway station, Vishal managed to escape. "This is the second such incident in three months. My brother is asking me to shift to Himachal Pradesh," said Renu, the mother of the child. Renu hails from Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. She separated from her husband long back. Rahul told the police that the kidnappers covered his face with a black cloth. Vishal had told the police that the kidnappers kept saying that they had picked up the wrong child.

A case under Section 365 (kidnapping) has been registered at the Sector 14 police station.


Nehru centre on paper only
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Almost two decades after being conceived, the Rs 120-crore ambitious Nehru Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) project at sub-city centre plaza in Sector 34 is yet to see the light of day.

Thanks to the 'efficiency' of the UT Administration, the project has been hanging fire. Rather, wild growth has taken over the incomplete structure.

In 2008, the Administration had approved the design and concept which had to be created by renowned architect Satnam Naminta and associates. Continuing Corbusian tradition, the centre will divide the plaza and will have a unique theatre street to add aesthetics. But despite a series of meetings between officials of the UT Administration and the CHB, a sub-committee constituted to give recommendations on the architect has failed to reach a conclusion as the matter is still under consideration. Sources said the conceptual architect drawings have already been approved by the Chief Architect. But since the project costs more than Rs 10 crore, the Administration conveyed to the CHB that the provisions of funds under the plan budget would have to be approved by the Centre. A detailed project report was sent by the CHB to the UT Chief Engineer on August 2011, followed by a meeting by the CHB chairman in June 2012. Later, the Chief Engineer returned the detailed project estimates to the CHB stating that the estimates needed to be approved at present market rates. The sub-committee held three meetings in 2012, but the issue is still pending.

What the project envisaged?

The Nehru Centre for Performing Arts was supposed to have an auditorium with a seating capacity for 1, 500 persons, two conference halls, a cafeteria and a theatre street.



Poll-related services a click away
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 6
The Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), VK Singh, today inaugurated a facility for time-bound delivery of election-related services at the Gram Suvidha Kendra, Tiurh village, for Mohali district.

The CEO also visited a few Gram Suvidha Kendras to assess their readiness for launching poll-related services. “The services include registration of new voters (Form 6), deletion (Form 7), modification (Form 8), transposition (Form 8-A) and electoral photo identify card (EPIC) for people residing in rural areas,” said VK Singh.

VK Singh said the services have been initiated at 20 Common Service Centres, as a pilot project in the Kharar, Dera Bassi and Majri blocks of the district. The facility would enable voters to get new and duplicate electronic photo identity cards and also make additions, deletions or modifications in the electoral rolls. The whole process would be online and done in a transparent manner, said the CEO.

After the successful completion of the pilot project, the services would be extended to other districts of the state as well. The process would definitely put an end to forgery, said the CEO.

The CEO said as many as 2,112 Gram Suvidha Kendras have been established under the Common Service Centre Mission Mode Project of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) in Punjab.

The kendras provide various government-to-citizen (G2C) and business-to-citizen (B2C) services to those residing in rural areas.

The CEO said at present many G2C services such as the Aadhaar card, banking services under the Financial Inclusion Scheme, National Pension System, PAN card, skill development courses under the STAR Scheme and various B2C services such as mobile recharges, postpaid bill payments, Dish TV recharges, ticketing, utility bill payments and insurance services are being provided to the public.

In the near future, more than 40 G2C services under the e-District Mission Mode Project and around 30 B2C services under the State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG) Mission Mode Project, NeGP, will be initiated through Gram Suvidha Kendras.

Such initiatives add more value to the vision of the Election Commission of India to provide election-related services in an integrated, hassle-free and time-bound manner, said Singh.



CHB’s auction a flop show
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
The auction of 145 commercial properties by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) was a damp squib as no bidder came forward. Two persons, who had deposited the token money of Rs 2 lakh for participating in the auction, also withdrew.

Officials of the CHB kept waiting till evening, hoping that bidders would turn up. The auction will continue tomorrow.

Yesterday, two booths were auctioned for Rs 1.23 crore. Of the 16 bidders, two were declared successful. The auction is being conducted after four years. The officials said the auctions conducted by the Estate Office, MC and Chandigarh Housing Board in 2009 had received a poor response.

A high reserve price of the booths is said to be one of reasons behind the poor response. As per service tax and lease money rules. As per rules, successful bidders are made to pay Rs 12.5 per cent service tax and 2.5 per cent lease money to the CHB every year.



Villagers join hands to reconstruct Jagatpura bridge
Tribune News Service

Construction of the Jagatpura bridge in progress
Construction of the Jagatpura bridge in progress. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, February 6
The Jagatpura Bridge, that collapsed five months back, is being reconstructed by the villagers of the area. Accusing the District Administration of adopting a lackadaisical attitude in this regard, villagers collected funds from the residents of the area and initiated the construction process.

The construction will be completed by next week, said villagers. According to Ranjit Singh Gill, a social worker and resident of the village, “The District Administration did not do anything except constructing a kutcha bridge, which used to collapse on every second day.” The construction of the bridge have cost us around Rs 15 lakh, said Gill.

“Over 20,000 persons use to cross over the kutcha bridge on a daily basis. During rainy season, it posed a great threat to the lives of the villagers and others passing by. It was then decided that villagers will construct a bridge by collecting funds. I spent around Rs 5 lakh for the purpose,” said Mohali Congress MLA Balbir Sidhu.

“We would like to request CM Parkash Singh Badal to inaugurate the bridge,” said Sidhu. Residents took technical help from Jaswant Singh, a retired as an engineer from the technical wing of Indian Army.

Bridge unsafe, says Admn

In a letter written to the village sarpanch, the executive engineer of PWD said the bridge constructed by residents is not safe for four-wheelers or heavy vehicles.



Underprivileged to get 2,300 dentures free-of-cost: Surjit Kumar Jiyani
Tribune News Service

Punjab health minister Surjit Kumar Jiyani during the inauguration of the 25th Dental Health Fortnight Camp at Civil Hospital in Phase VI, Mohali, on Thursday
Punjab health minister Surjit Kumar Jiyani during the inauguration of the 25th Dental Health Fortnight Camp at Civil Hospital in Phase VI, Mohali, on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gahru

Mohali, February 6
The Punjab Health Minister, Surjit Kumar Jiyani, visited the local Civil Hospital to inaugurate the 25th Dental Health Fortnight Camp here today morning. The purpose of the camp is aimed at spreading awareness about various dental diseases and their preventions.

“As many as 2,300 full sets of artificial denture will be fixed free-of-cost during the camps, being organised in all district hospitals and sub-division hospitals. The benefit is exclusively for the underprivileged patients,” said Jiyani.

Seeing a large number of patients in the corridors of the hospital, the minister said it showed that doctors here enjoy good reputation. He directed the authorities to start issuing electronic digital number system to deal with the heavy rush.



Now, chinks in Akali Dal over local chief’s name
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
After the Congress and the BJP, now a rift has surfaced in the local Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) unit.

A day after unanimously announcing the name of Bachitar Singh Tiwana as the local SAD wing president, Jagjit Singh Kang, delegate, SAD, Chandigarh, announced that no official meeting was held and there was no president of SAD in Chandigarh.

Kang, who today held a meeting with SAD Councillor Malkiat Singh and other SAD workers, said he would take up the matter with Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal.

Tiwana said the meeting was official and senior leaders appointed him as the president. Tiwana said joint secretary Sarvjeet Singh Sohal had proposed his name as the president, which was seconded by advocate NS Minhas, the outgoing president.



Chemist shop on GMCH Emergency premises soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Facing immense inconvenience for over 8 months, patients admitted at the emergency unit of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, are now going to find easy access to medicines. The disputed bidding of the chemist shop in the emergency premises has now been resolved and the shop is set to open next month.

The tenders of the shop had to be floated three times for finalising the contract as a controversy shrouded the bidding of the shop.

Sources in the GMCH Administration revealed that the tenders had to be withdrawn twice, as both the times two chemists quoted the same rate for monthly rent leading to cancellation of tenders.

Finally, after two cancellations, one of the bidders moved to the Punjab and Haryana High Court where bidding took place in the courtroom and the rent was finalised, said a GMCH official, preferring anonymity.

Patients at the hospital, especially those visiting Block C, have been facing immense inconvenience in the absence of any chemist shop in the block. The chemist shop on the premises of the emergency unit, which is closest to the Block C (where operation theatres and private rooms are located), will make it convenient for patients to buy medicines while moving from the block.

The hospital is also planning to start a new shop in Block C as well.



‘Panic-stricken’ man makes police chase him for over an hour

Mohali, February 6
For onlookers, it was nothing less than a clip from a Bollywood movie, when they saw the local police chase a car, running on three tyres, this afternoon.

The driver of the car has been identified as Gurnoor, a resident of Phase V.

According to the police, Gurnoor was signaled to stop by the police but he fled away. “When we started chasing his car, he started driving at a higher speed. The vehicle even hit a roadside railing. Due to the impact a tyre even came out, but he did not stop the vehicle,” said sub-inspector Rajiv Kumar, station house officer, Phase I Police Station.

After an hour-long chase, the police finally managed to stop him. During search of the vehicle nothing objectionable was found. Gurnoor told the police that he was panic-stricken when the cops signaled him to stop. Later, the police issued him a challan for speeding. — OC



Sick boy needs financial aid

Chandigarh, February 6
A 10-year-old patient, Ujjwal, suffering from blood cancer is battling for life at the PGIMER. Due to insufficient money, he is yet to undergo the treatment required.

He requires Rs 3 lakh for treatment. Those keen on helping him financially can contact his father on 07508024476. — TNS



Two police teams to investigate robbery case

Mohali, February 6
Two police teams have been deployed to investigate the robbery case that took place at Phase III-B1 on the night of February 4.

The SSP, Indermohan Singh, said while one team would be headed by SP (city), the other would be headed by SP (district).

The SSP said the police are trying to work on various theories. “The accused will be nabbed soon,” said SSP.

“From the statements of the owners of the house, it appears that the suspects were known to the family. We are ascertaining if the family had any disputes with anyone,” said the SSP.

According to the information, on the night of robbery, six armed persons allegedly held the family hostage in Phase III-B1. They thrashed the maid and tied up Sohan Lal Arora, owner of the house, his daughter Seema, son-in-law Rajiv Kumar, grandson Karan and a relative Sandeep. The robbers decamped with valuables worth over Rs 40 lakh from the house. — OC



Registration of travel agents till March 10: DC
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 6
Travel agents in Mohali district can now get themselves registered under the Punjab Human Rights Trafficking Act, 2013, till March 10.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu said, “It is legally mandatory for the travel agents to get the registration done.” The process will be carried out at the DC office and those applying for the same would be issued licences.

The act has been framed to check cases of crime by unregistered and fake travel agents, said the Deputy Commissioner.



Vehicles without HSRP: Questions raised over challaning process
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
With the police challaning 368 vehicles without high security registration plates (HSRP) in a month, city-based advocate Ajay Jagga submitted a representation to the Home Secretary, claiming that the challaning process was full of errors.

"The challaning of vehicles without the HSRP is in violation of the 'implementation of the High Security Registration Plates in the Union Territory of Chandigarh Scheme, 2011', Supreme Court orders, Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, and Motor Vehicles Act," he stated.

The representation stated: "The traffic police is challaning private vehicles. Auto-rickshaws and cabs are not being checked, which is in violation of article 14 i.e. right to equality, because the nine series do not cover autos and cabs."

It was stated that vehicles owned by city residents were being challaned while people residing in Mohali, Panchkula or other states were not being challaned, which was in violation of right to equality.

The presence of the element of discrimination in the challaning policy is also supported by the law framed by the Supreme Court.

"As such there is no provision of law which permits the Chandigarh Traffic Police to exempt vehicles belonging to other states or other category such as auto-rickshaw or taxis. The Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, and Motor Vehicles Act are Central legislations and are applicable to the entire country. The background of the HSRP is that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has amended Rule 50 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, in March, 2001, to mandate installation of high security registration plates in all categories of new as well as in-use motor vehicles. Even in this amendment there is no exception for exemption. As such it is requested that the plan of challaning be examined to ensure that there is no discrimination. Article 14 of the Constitution of India should also be taken care of," he stated.



Councillors join protesting staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, two councillors joined the protesting employees of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) at the Civil Dispensary in Sector 22 today.

BSP councillor Jannat Jahan and Akali Dal councillor Harjinder Kaur extended support to 250 contractual employees who have been demanding annual increment in salaries and income on a par with regular employees of the Administration.

"Their demands are genuine. I fail to understand why the Administration is forcing residents to hold protests. Such agitations bring a bad name to the city," said Jannat Jahan.

The employees have not got incentives and have been facing harassment at the hands of the authorities.



Civic body cancels study tour
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
A day after 'wasteful expenditure on study tours' was highlighted in these columns, the Municipal Corporation cancelled the study tour to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala from February 9 to 16.

Confirming the development, Mayor Harphool Kalyan said as they had not received a good response from the councillors (both elected and nominated), they had cancelled the study tour.

A majority of councillors had conveyed to the Mayor that they could not go on the tour because of their prior engagements. Four SAD-BJP councillors, who had opposed the tour programme last year, had given their consent to the tour. Congress councillors were not in favour of the tour because they had planned a number of programmes and rallies for MP Pawan Kumar Bansal. The councillors and officials had decided to go to Thiruvananthapuram, the same city where they had gone earlier also (October 2010). This year, the MC had planned to spend Rs 15 lakh on the tour. Twenty councillors and five officials were to visit various cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The MC had proposed that the councillors would get to know about the functioning of the civic bodies in the South.

No project based on 2010 study tour

  • Rs 16 lakh was spent on the 2010 study tour. The following projects were studied by councillors. None of these were implemented in the city.
  • The 'Kutumbh Shree' system employs poor women to collect garbage from houses
  • Mayor's power to write annual confidential reports (ACRs) of MC officials
  • Implementation of the 74th Constitutional Amendment, matters related to welfare of women and children




PU proposes Rs 506.55 cr budget for 2014-15
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
Panjab University (PU) today held its board of finance meeting in which the budget report for the next financial year 2014-2015 was tabled. The university has a deficit budget of Rs 282.55 crore, which is more than 50 per cent of around Rs 506.55-crore budget for the next session.

As per the budget report, the university expects to generate revenue of Rs 224 crore from various resources and for the rest they will have to depend on the grant from the Union and Punjab Government. The meeting was chaired by PU
Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover.

PU finance and development officer Vikram Nayyar informed that PU has shifted to zero-based budgeting, which was earlier on incremental method. He said austerity measures implemented by the university had resulted into lesser expenditure than the projections in the previous year’s budget estimate.

Sources said the officials of the Punjab Government asked the university authorities to reduce their deficit by introducing new ways to lessen the burden on the governments. Reacting to which the university officials revealed that they were planning a hike in fee from the next session, but it will only increase the revenue by Rs 15 to 20 crore as they could not put too much financial burden on the students.

Referring to last year’s increase in revenue, the university authorities revealed that by hiking the fee of private candidates and university college of learning there was an increase of funds by around Rs 11 crore.

VC Prof Grover informed that earlier the university used to get funding from the Government of India through UT Administration but this year the authorities have got it through University Grants Commission (UGC). The university is expecting PU to be a part of the plan and non-plan budget of the Union Government. He said PU had received Rs 110 crore as interim grant and the remaining amount of Rs 53 crore to meet the deficit was in the pipeline.

In the meeting, members of the university asked the Punjab Government representatives to share the financial burden of the four constituent colleges which is costing around Rs 75 lakh annually to the university. The Punjab Government officials informed that the matter would be placed before the cabinet which was scheduled to meet tomorrow.

The issue of the release of grant of Rs 12 crore by the UT Administration, especially for the research scholars was also raised in the meeting. Reacting to which, the UT Administration officials asked the members of the university to prepare a proposal under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) and submit it to the authorities for consideration.

It was revealed in the meeting that there are some departments that generate minimal revenue, but their expenditure is several times more. Such departments should device ways of self-sustenance by bagging some special grants in their field, said a senior official.

Sources said there were 29 items which were tabled for the approval from the board of finance and all were approved unanimously.

Highlights of the proposed budget

  • Payment of installment of dearness allowance to employees be allowed based upon the notification issued by Central Government from time to time.
  • Seed money of Rs 3 crore for the construction of a hostel for female research scholars.
  • Rs 1 crore seed money for the construction of an academic block at Panjab University Regional Centre in Muktsar.
  • Rs 68.66 lakh for renovation and repair of library of Vishveshvaranand Vishwa Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, PU at Sadhu Ashram, Hoshiarpur.
  • Additional 13 posts of assistant professor at four newly established constituent colleges of Panjab University located at Sikhwala (Sri Muktsar Sahib), Balachaur (SBS Nagar), Nihalsingh Wala (Moga) and Guru Harsahai (Ferozepur).
  • Last chance to the Panjab University employees (who could not submit their options earlier) for submitting options for availing pension scheme of 4, 9 and 14 years.

Pending grant

Officials of the Punjab Government gave an assurance to look into the matter related to the release of pending grants worth Rs 40.68 crore from 2000 to 2009. But no deadline for the same was given by them.



Govt Teachers’ Union submits demand charter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6
A seven member delegation of the Government Teachers’ Union (GTU) met DPI Schools Kamlesh Kumar and submitted a charter of major demands of the teachers.

The delegation was headed by union’s president Dr Vinod Sharma. The union demanded to apply centre pay scale and service conditions for the local teachers. The delegation also stressed to clear the promotion to the Post of Master and Mistress and further to regularise issues of SSA teachers. “DPI schools gave a patient hearing on our demands and assured a positive step on priority basis. The issue of school timing was also raised and the officer ensured that the rescheduling of school timings will be notified for the next year. The policy will not affect the working hours of teachers as it is to save the children from severe cold and heat waves,” said Vinod Sharma.

The delegation also submitted a detailed proposal regarding the facility of government accommodation in the beginning of service.



Clean-up drive

Chandigarh: Students of St John’s High School’s Eco Club, The Eco Warriors, celebrated World Wetlands Day at the Sukhna Lake. The activity was carried out to apprise students of the importance of wetlands in the UN International year of Family Farming. The SWARM (Segregation and Recycling of Waste Movement) group from the school also conducted a clean-up drive on the lake and distributed pamphlets to the morning walkers creating awareness.

American doughnuts distributed

Local ‘Super Donuts’ company presented free doughnuts to the inmates of the Institute for the Blind in Sector 26 in order to celebrate their company’s success. The company is running two outlets at Sector 8 and 35.

Poster-making contest

To popularise scientific temper among the students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector-28D, Chandigarh, the school hosted science quiz, essay-writing and poster-making contests along with science lectures. Students from Class VI to XI took part in various activities.

Wetland day

On the eve of Wetland day, a healthy initiative was taken by the Forest Department during which the students of St Stephen’s, Sector 45, were made to know the importance of wetlands and its depleting condition. The guides provided the students with information on different subjects in a vast manner. The students were given instructions on how to preserve the depleting landscape of the City Beautiful.

Annual sports day

Government Model High School, Sector 42, celebrated its Annual Sports Day (seniors) with great zeal and enthusiasm. Kamlesh Kumar DPI Schools, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. The event showcased a spectacular display of march-past and colourful drill by the students. A number of interesting races were organised such as three- legged race, slow-cycling race, 100 m and 200 m race, lemon race, frog race, book-balance race, etc.

Students bring laurels

Panchkula: Students of Shishu Niketan Public School brought laurels to the school by winning the first prize in a dance competition organised by Saraswati Kala Sangam held at Satluj Public School, Sector 4, Panchkula. Many teams from different schools of Panchkula participated in it. The students got trophy and gold medals along with the certificates.

Science exhibition

Mani Majra: Science and technology club of the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, organised an informative science exihibition on the theme- Harnessing of energy, pollution control and water conservation. Members of the club along with school volunteers from Class VI to XII presented highly informative and innovative working models. Principal Kund Bala motivated the students to do more constructive and scientific work for the harmonious development society and mankind.

Basant Panchami

Mohali: Tiny tots Foundation School celebrated Basant Panchami on the school premises. The dress code was yellow for the day considering the relevance of the colour on the occasion. Prayers were offered to Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of education, learning and intelligence. Students also recited poems on kites. Later, the children participated in kite-flying activity in the school.

Punjabi mela

Oakridge International School organised a Punjabi Mela to make students aware of the Punjabi traditions and culture. The culture of Punjab was delicately presented through various articles, clothes, cutlery and food. Students performed gatka, gidda, bhangra along with jaago. Principal Pranjila Dass said it was important to make tiny tots aware of their traditions along with inculcating modern education to them. — TNS



Inter-college quiz

Chandigarh: An inter-college quiz eco-quest 2014 was organised by Post-Graduate Department of Economics at Sri Guru Gobind Singh College in Sector 26. As many as 28 teams from various colleges of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana participated in the event. The first prize was bagged by MCM DAV College while the second and third prize was bagged by GGDSD College and SGGS College, respectively. The quiz was planned to test the awareness of students on various aspects of economics and business. Five teams were short-listed for the finals comprising of interesting rounds with questions on logos, diagrams, photographs, etc.

Workshop on proteomics

A three-day workshop on proteomics was organised by the Department of Biochemistry at GGDSD College, Sector 32, from February 4 to 6. It was a firsthand experience of important scientific techniques for the students. The workshop on proteomics covered one and two gel electrophoresis techniques. It was sponsored by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. Experts from healthcare delivered lectures and demonstrations on practice session for the undergraduate students of the department. The experts also explained applications of this powerful technique in the area of clinics and plant research. — TNS



Panchkula school to have ‘Robotic Lab’
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 6
The British School, Panchkula, is all set to have a futuristic ‘Robotic Lab’ from the new academic session 2014-15.

In a preliminary workshop held with the students of Class V on Thursday, they were exposed to robotics lab. It helped them to investigate, plan, test and implement their ideas thus focusing on application of the concepts and themes. The projects will sync well with assessment patterns and the CCE prescribed by CBSE in which the project-based learning and evaluations form an integral part of the teaching and learning process.

School director Geetika Sethi said, “The students are not only going to learn how to make robots but will also learn to programme them on various parameters.”



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